Category Archives: Temptation

On the Way to Hell?

Proverbs 7:24-27

“Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.”

We have reached the four final verses in a chapter of Scripture that focuses on things we would rather not think about, talk about, or otherwise air in public. Some readers may sit back rich in the knowledge that these words of wisdom apply to other fools, not them. Surely part of wisdom is recognizing when folly has invaded our minds?

Mind Invasion

Mind invasion could be a good title for of work of science fiction. The science here is seduction, but there is nothing fictional about the dangers associated with seduction. Proverbs 7 clearly states that seduction is a real and present threat to all men and women. If we do not realize this, then it is possible that we have already been seduced, not by an immoral person, but by the folly that says; “This doesn’t apply to me, I’m not vulnerable to this type of threat.”

Assessing the Risk

The first step in guarding against the threat is to acknowledge vulnerability and consider where the risk is greatest. We have to examine what we are allowing to enter out minds, and how society corrupts our thoughts. Here’s a small checklist. You will probably be able to add to it:

  • What/who are you looking at?
  • What/who are you listening to?
  • What are you reading?
  • What are watching on television, or at the movies?
  • What DVDs are sitting on your shelf?
  • Are you vulnerable to advertising images on billboards?
  • Are you tempted to click on Internet links that will take you places you know you shouldn’t go.
  • Do you really think that spending regular lunch times alone with a co-worker of the opposite sex can remain innocent forever?
  • Do you honestly believe that leaving your marriage partner for another person will not cause untold pain and hurt to numerous people?

Feel free to add to the list by commenting below. But first read Proverbs 7 again in its entirety, but linger on the final verse:

Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

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Old Tactics Still Work

Proverbs 7:21-23 

“With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.”
“The Devil Made Me Do It!”

Back in the 1960’s Flip Wilson made that saying famous. Whenever he was caught doing wrong, he would always try to shift the blame off of himself and onto the Devil. In reality, it was, as you can imagine, just an excuse. The Devil didn’t make him do anything.

However, if you were to hear it from most liars, cheats, thieves, adulterers, haters, gossipers, etc., the Devil is responsible for it all. If not the Devil, then there is always some extenuating circumstance, not personal choice, to blame. If not the Devil, somebody else is always responsible.

She Made Me Do It!”

In the book of Genesis we read of a man who blamed someone besides himself for his sin. Adam blamed his wife, Eve, for making him eat of the forbidden fruit. He said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat” (Gen. 3:12). Did he not have a mind of his own? Did he not know any better?

It is true that Eve gave the fruit to Adam, but it was Adam’s choice to listen to her offer to sin. She didn’t make him sin; he did it of his own free will. But even though she didn’t make him do it, look who was working behind the scenes – Satan. He worked through Eve, the most beautiful woman in the world (the only woman in the world) to snare Adam. Her convincing words were motivated by the Enemy.

“With her much fair speech…”

The key to today’s passage can be found in those simple words, “With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.”

If one were to only look on the surface of this passage, one might come away with the notion that this poor young man would have been just fine, had he not been forced into sin. But it must be noted that the “forcing” came after the “yielding.”

Before this young man became an animal led to slaughter, a bird caught in cage, he was free to walk away. It was only when he “yielded” that he became a sacrifice on the altar of sin. But what caused him to yield? The beautiful, promising words of a woman influenced by the Serpent.

Nothing Changes

As David Welford mention previously, “The rocks are charted.” God has warned us of the dangers. He has warned us of the consequences. There is no excuse to be dashed upon the rocks, led to the slaughter, or caught in a snare. Yet, many will play with the Serpent’s lure, and yield.

Is it any wonder why the wisdom of Proverbs is still applicable in this day and age? It shouldn’t be. The same tactics employed in Garden of Eden are still being used today. Why? Because they still work.

A Prayer

Lord, David said, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Help us, help ME, to desire the sweetness of Word over all else. When presented with any other option, may we be repulsed by the bait, and never yield. 


Caught With Candy

Proverbs 7:18-20 

“Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.”

Candy Coated

Evil and wickedness is rarely blatantly presented. Most people are able to see a bad thing for what it is when there is no pretense or disguise.

That is the trap of temptation and sin. They look so good and, well, tempting! But there is the danger. It looks so sweet, but inside it is poison.

It was only during the Twentieth Century that the term “make love” came to mean “have sex.” However, we can see in this passage that, while the term itself may not have been used, this was certainly the cover for a very long time.

“No! We were not having sex! We were making love!”

“I was not stealing from you! I was temporarily borrowing … (without permission).”

The Tell

Temptation always justifies and excuses. Whether it be through the added temptation to “get away with it” or attempting to make it right, there is always that clue that it is not right.

“No one is watching! It will be fun!” (“My husband is gone on a long journey!”)

“We are doing a good thing! See, we called it ‘love’!”

“Everyone is doing it!”

Jesus is coming! Look busy!

Beyond the sneaking around and justifying, there is often the added justification of “we will never get caught!”

When are cheating couples usually caught, though? When the spouse or the friend or the children suddenly show up earlier than expected.

Sadly, this is how many people try to approach God, and, sadder still, this is how many Christians live, as well.

“I will believe in God at the end of my life! I have plenty of time!”

“I am forgiven! I will clean my act up just before I die or just before Christ returns!”

The End Result

Everyone is caught at some point or another.

Sometimes it is being guilt-ridden. Sometimes it is friends or family. Sometimes it is the police.

Every time, God knows.

Every time, there are consequences.

Fortunately, for those who are wise, God has forgiven us trough the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ … if only we believe. This does not guarantee escape from earthly consequences, but it does mean God has saved us from eternal consequences for these actions!

Gracious Lord, help us to see past the deceptions of temptation and sin. Give us the strength and wisdom to overcome. Thank You for the ultimate victory in Jesus Christ!


Seduced to the Rocks

Proverbs 7:16-17

“I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.”

Being Seduced 

Proverbs 7 immerses the reader in the imagery of temptation, but with a clear focus on seduction. This has already been described as a spider weaving a web and trapping unsuspecting prey. Seduction could be compared with the mythological sirens of the ancient world luring seafarers to shipwreck and inevitable death. But seduction begins in many ways, not necessarily with the enchanting song of a siren. Is there any difference between temptation, attraction, chemistry, or however else we try to excuse our failure to resist? For many it will not be a prostitute in a bar or on a street corner, but a colleague at work, possibly even a fellow worshipper at church.

Innocence?

It may begin in innocence. A little voice inside says “I like this person” or “here is someone who understands me.” The Christian movie Fireproof demonstrates the process perfectly as the wife of the fire chief finds herself increasingly drawn to a doctor colleague at the hospital where she works.

Obvious

Seduction should be obvious. The trouble is that something breaks in the human mind when seduction comes along, and the capacity to think logically disappears. Seduction robs us of our natural ability to avoid danger, and the song of the sirens draws us closer and closer to the rocks. The closer you get to the rocks, the more inevitable the shipwreck becomes. The trouble is that dangerous rocks are often shrouded in mist and difficult to see.

Shipwrecked

I played on the rocks as a child. But further offshore there were hidden reefs where vessels bound for the English Channel periodically ran aground. These were rocks where seafarers lost their lives. A few years later when serving at sea myself I dreaded the thought of putting a ship aground, but thought nothing of the dangers of the dockside bars when going ashore.

You may never have entered a dockside bar. You may never have been tempted by attraction to a co-worker in your daily life, or at church. You may think that the words of Proverbs 7 are an exaggeration, and that this part of God’s Word does not apply in your case. But it does. Every word of Scripture is there for a reason. If you don’t need to draw on this wisdom now, you may need to do so in the future. If you remember nothing else remember that failure to listen to God will lead to shipwreck. Almost all shipwrecks are caused by human error. Innocence is not an excuse. The rocks are charted. You are equipped to avoid them. Go too close and you will go aground.


Brazen Church Girl

Proverbs 7:13-15

“So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.”

One of the greatest myths is that all church-going girls are “good” girls. These verses are a good example. Not only has this woman been waiting in the dark for her prey, she is openly religious, and uses her surface piety to lure the fool. But let’s break down these verses one at a time.

“So she caught him, and kissed him..”

Look who is the aggressor; it’s not the man. Conventional wisdom (not godly wisdom) has taught us that men are always the aggressor and that women should be wary. However, there are plenty of young women, as young as middle school, who know exactly what they want, and how to get it. Consider the words of this mother…

“I have a very outgoing, charming, attractive 15-year-old son. I have literally been chasing the girls away from the door ever since the seventh grade. … The aggressiveness and promiscuity of young girls nowadays is beyond words. Their dress is so alluring and inviting to a young man, what’s a guy to do? Moreover, what’s a mom to do?” (source, Family Life Today)

“Impudent face…”

It is amazing how people can look you right in the eye and tell a bold-face lie. That is what this woman was doing. The Hebrew word translated here as “impudent” could also be translated as brazen. She just looked this naive boy in the face and told him what he wanted to hear.

“Peace offerings…vows…found thee.” 

It is obvious in verses 14 and 15 that something doesn’t add up. Why is it that a woman of the night would be telling this young man about how she went to church? Oh, it’s pretty simple, really. She was just saying what a good Jewish boy wanted to hear.

Here was the total, irresistible package: a young, gorgeous and religious woman calling out to be rescued from breaking the Law. “I am so glad I found you! You’re the answer to my prayers! This must be God’s will,” she essentially said.

In the Old Testament, when a peace offering was made, the leftover meat was to be eaten that night, and no later (Lev. 7:15). She presented her case in such a way that said, “We have to do this now!” She played to his religious chivalry.

When this woman grabbed the man, kissed him, lied to him, and trapped him, she did it with everything that said: “This must be a good girl – she’s only trying to do the right thing – and she likes me!” I can almost imagine him repeating the words of an old Debbie Boone song, “This can’t be wrong when it feels so right.”

A Prayer

Oh, Lord God, open our eyes to the tricks of the Enemy! Give us the wisdom we need to discern between a treasure far above rubies (Prov. 31:10) and a trap. Help us to teach our sons and daughters to be godly. Help us to be parents who set the example.


Come Into My Parlor

Proverbs 7:12 

“Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.”

Lieth In Wait

I can visualize the following event just like it happened yesterday even though it took place some 31 years ago. I was 7 years old and my parents and brother lived in a two story house right outside of Chattanooga, TN. Our den was located in the basement while all of our bedrooms were upstairs. The evening was coming to an end and so we started to gather up our belongings to take them upstairs. As we began cleaning, I noticed that my father was no where to be found. I didn’t give it another thought and continued to help my mom and brother.

With arms full of blankets and pillows, I made my way up the stairs and started down our hallway. Because this happened during the winter time, it was already dark outside and my arms were full so I could not turn the hallway lights on. I walked about ten feet down the hallway and stopped in my tracks. There was something that was telling me that I should not go any further and that my best bet would be to turn around slowly and go back. I quickly exited the hallway and run to find my mom who was still downstairs.

My mother began to laugh when I told her what just happened.

She explained to me that she was pretty sure that my father was hiding in one of the rooms just waiting for me to walk by so he could scare me (there was never a dull moment in the Sneed household). Sure enough, when I returned upstairs and turned on all of the lights, my father was laying on his stomach on the floor just “lying in wait”.

Her Prey

Solomon is explaining to us that the “strange women” is lying in wait for this man to come by and just like the spider, she is ready to pounce on her prey. She is out on the street, but she is lurking around each corner just waiting for her victim to arrive.

The Take-Away

How many times have we seen it or heard about it? How many times have we seen homes broken up and children being torn apart by a man that has gone off and had an affair?

In today’s society, the “strange women” is ever so prevalent in JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING! The TV, internet, radio, smartphones – she is everywhere and if we are not grounded in the Word of God, we are doomed to fall. That is why Solomon was again telling his son to make sure and keep his commandments!

Men, we must guard ourselves against sin each and every day. We must keep God’s commandments and do our best to obtain wisdom and understanding, so that we can live!

Lord, help us to guard our hearts and minds against anything evil that comes our way. Help us to always be on the lookout for things that are not according to Your Word. Help us to always seek your face each and every day!


Is This You?

Proverbs 7:11

“She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:”

Do you know this kind of person?

Solomon is telling us about that wayward woman, the adulteress. But do you know someone like this?

This is the person who seems to struggle with speaking with an “inside voice” and has to be right … even when they know they are wrong.

This is the person who starts the party … and often ruins it.

This is the person who has hundreds and even thousands of friends … and no one who is close to them.

This is the person who has been in numerous relationships … and either something is wrong with the other person or they are “friends with benefits” … or just “good friends”.

Is this person you?

We have all been this person, in one way or another.

No, we have not all been loud, but we have all been stubborn in some way.

No, we have not all been the partier with numerous “friends” and hook-ups.

We all, however, have yelled at God and known we were justified in our argument.

We all have wandered from God by following our own desires in one way or another.

We all have cheated on God by pursuing something or someone we loved more in one way or another.

Thankfully, God pursues us and quietly waits for us.

Thankfully, He came after us in Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus, thank You for coming after us and saving us. Help us to pursue You in every moment. Give us the wisdom and guidance to avoid those which can lead us astray, and give us the strength to overcome temptation when we walk into it once again.